I met Britney in the dorms at an RA meeting. After chatting for a few minutes, I asked her if she wanted to go to my room to take muscle relaxers and she said yes. (I’m not trying to be Bret Easton Ellis-y here about drugs, by the way. That’s just how your freshman year of college is. You meet someone and you’re like, “Hi. Nice to meet you. Do you want to get obliterated together and then never speak again? Great! See you in five.”) Britney was so not my type of friend. She was super preppy, had blonde hair and a streaky tan. She also wasn’t very smart. Her laughter to my jokes was always delayed and she would often use big words in the wrong context. I overlooked these things though because I was desperate for company. I didn’t know anyone at my college and was forced to hustle for friends like I never had before.
Britney and I got high in my dorm room and she asked me inappropriate questions about being gay. (“I love gay guys. Are you a top or a bottom?”) My tolerance for getting treated like a Baliencaga bag was high at the time though, since I had only been out of the closet for over a year, so I let a lot of her comments slide.
We started hanging out one-on-one under weird circumstances. Like, we would get high and then Britney would just clean my room. She told me that she loved to tidy up and practically begged me to let her make my side of the room neat. Confused but not really in the mood to clean myself, I said sure, why not?
So that’s what she did for like three months. She would come over and sometimes take a pill or smoke pot or do a line of coke before cleaning my room for an hour. It was weird but it meant that I had a free maid so I wasn’t about to complain.
We only hung out once outside of the dorms at a tacky chain restaurant by the pier. By the time our drinks came, it was obvious that our chemistry did not translate outside of school or to sobriety. Eventually, Britney got a boyfriend and dropped off the face of the earth, which was sad only because it meant that I had to actually start cleaning my room.
Spencer lived across the hall from me and was literally the biggest babe to ever exist. I would hear him coming from the elevators, sexy bike in tow, and make a point to just be lounging on my bed with my door slightly ajar so I could say hi to him. My attempts at getting his attention were pointless though because, unlike everyone else in San Francisco, he was straight in theory AND in practice. I had heard rumblings that, despite being hot and nice, Spencer was a pathological liar and an overall freak but I chose not to believe the rumors. He was too attractive to be nuts. (I learned later that hot people = almost always nuts.)
One day Spencer asked me if I wanted to run errands with him around the city and I, of course, agreed. Spencer and me spending one-on-one time together sounded like a liquid dream! Hell yes! So we saunter off together, joyous and excited for the day’s activities, and all of a sudden I realize that everyone was right about him. Spencer was a psycho. Within five minutes of us hanging out, he told me that he was raised by gypsies and that he was training for the Olympics. There were so many strange stories coming out of his mouth, some of which clearly contradicted each other, and I had no choice but to pretend like I believed all of it. It was miserable. By the end of the day, I was so exhausted and pissed that I had been duped into spending the day with a crazy person. Spencer may’ve been hot but he was also psycho which meant that he was a total waste of ass. Next!
I entered college in the fall of 2005, which was right around the time Facebook was getting popular. Back then, it was only open to colleges and was used as an actual social tool to meet new people at school. I went on so many friend dates with people I met off Facebook. Oh my god. Almost all of them turned out to be duds but there was this one girl, Grace, who was particularly awful.
Grace was like a weird Facebook celeb at our college, which I know sounds weird, but in 2005 it was possible to actually become popular from your Facebook profile. You just had to be a social whore and befriend everyone in your class. From the looks of her Facebook, Grace seemed cute and cool. She was from L.A. and listened to good music so it seemed like we would be a good match. We decided to meet up at the top of campus one day and take the MUNI to the Embarcadero for lunch.
I knew from the second I heard her talk that this wasn’t going to work out. She was, for lack of a better description, one of the most annoying people I’ve ever met. Truly. It was shocking how terrible she was. At a certain point, I was kind of enthralled with how awful her personality was. She was narcissistic, bizarrely immature, and only talked at you instead of with you, which is a quality I detest in people.
On the way back from our horrible lunch, I dropped her off at her dorm hall and heard someone yell from a 5th floor window, “GRACE ROSENBAUM, YOU ARE FUCKING TERRIBLE!” I was shocked by this outburst but kind of obsessed with it too. She was awful! I agree! Since Grace was so oblivious to her surroundings, she just laughed at the public humiliation and skipped off to her dorm. I never saw her again, thank Christ.
Angela was the most hipster girl to ever walk the earth, or at least the San Francisco State campus. Her interests on Livejournal were something incredibly stupid/cool like, “marc jacobs. records. wine.” and I couldn’t wait to meet her in person. Finally, someone who liked to take polaroids and talk about boys. Woo! (I was a different person back then. Sort of.)
We met up in the quad one afternoon. I was able to spot her immediately because she was wearing a ski hat and a fur coat when it was 85 degrees out. We sat on the grass together and gossiped but the conversation fell sort of flat. In real life, Angela was just super quiet and awkward. Not like the hipster glamazon she portrayed herself to be on the internet.
A few months later, I went to her birthday party, which ended up being one of the weirdest parties I’ve ever been to in my life. All of her friends were wearing rompers and white leggings and pretending they were in an all-girl band, despite the fact that none of them knew how to play an instrument. (They had made a Myspace music page for their band which included no music, only pictures of them wearing identical fur hats and playing the ukelele. I’m not joking.)
I said hi to Angela and made small talk with these zombie hipster girls. Everyone was pretty quiet until Angela got her Polaroid camera out and started taking pictures of everyone. I didn’t get it. Weren’t we supposed to hang out and then take pictures? Angela started drinking and posing for the camera. Her friends, on auto-pilot, grabbed her Beatles records and posed with them. It was like a Nylon photo shoot! AKA I was in hell. These girls never stopped taking photos. They must’ve gone through 50 Polaroid pictures that night. What was bizarre though is that no one was actually really talking to each other the whole night. They were just posing in really hip ways. It was #NotChic.
In retrospect, my freshman year of college was one of the worst years of my life. Like, worse than the year I got hit by a car and had to have seven surgeries, a skin graft, and lost most of the function in my left hand. It took me so long to meet people who made sense and when I finally did, I could’ve cried tears of happiness. Eureka. I found my tribe! WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN?